Influence of climate variability on fire generation

Myths and facts in southern Pampas (Argentina)

Authors

  • Federico Ferrelli Instituto Argentino de Oceanografía. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas
  • Ana Casado CEDETS, Universidad Provincial del Sudoeste (UPSO)

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18172/cig.5774

Keywords:

climate variability, El Niño and La Niña events, fires, Southern Pampas

Abstract

This study evaluates the occurrence of dry and wet events and their relationship with fires in southern Pampas, Argentina. The intensity and magnitude of dry and wet events were determined based on the regional series of the Standardized Precipitation and Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) for the 2000-2021 period. The data obtained were related to the El Niño Oceanic Index (ONI) to analyze the incidence of El Niño and La Niña events in generating them. Fires in the region were detected using remote sensing techniques, considering the number of events, their intensity, extent, and duration. The southern Pampas experiences marked rainfall variability, with 15 dry events, 11 wet years, and 2 standard years recorded for the period analyzed. Extreme dry years were, on average, more intense (SPEI = -2.14) and occurred mainly during the negative ONI phase. In contrast, extreme wet years exhibited lower intensity (SPEI = 1.98), and only the most intense ones were related to neutral ONI phases. We analyzed a representative extremely dry (ED) and an extremely wet events (EW) to interpret the relationship between climate variability and the spatiotemporal variability of fires in the region. It was observed that during the EW event (2014-2015, SPEI = 1.52, and El Niño event until 2015) the number of fires was higher compared to an ED event (2008-2009, SPEI = -2.22, and La Niña event during 2008), with 460 and 205 fires, respectively. The intensity was higher in the EW (302.6 and 31.5 MW), while the area presented considerable differences (1722 and 815.5 km2, respectively). Finally, the duration of the fires was shorter in ED than in EW (6 and 8 months, respectively). These results were related to vegetation health (NDVI = 0.29 and 0.41 and EVI = 0.15 and 0.21 in ED and EW, respectively) and changes in land covers. This study provides a solid database for future research efforts and sustainable land management plans.

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Author Biography

Federico Ferrelli, Instituto Argentino de Oceanografía. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas

Doctor en Geografía, Especialista en Teledetección y Sistemas de Información Geográfica aplicados al estudio del Medio Ambiente.

Licenciado y profesor en geografía.

Desarrollando actividades de investigación en el Intituto Argentino de Oceanografía.

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Published

24-11-2023

How to Cite

1.
Ferrelli F, Casado A. Influence of climate variability on fire generation: Myths and facts in southern Pampas (Argentina). CIG [Internet]. 2023 Nov. 24 [cited 2024 May 24];. Available from: https://publicaciones.unirioja.es/ojs/index.php/cig/article/view/5774

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